Chapter 2.18. Emotioneering Techniques Category #18: World Induction Techniques
If you create a world for the player, don't forget the welcome mat.
World Induction Techniques
are techniques other than realism that cause a player to become emotionally immersed in the world of the game. It doesn't mean the teaching of skills and weapons. It refers instead to techniques for making a player want to spend time in the world of the game.
From our moms' point of view, it's all contractions and screaming. But for us, it's being squeezed like toothpaste. Then there's a welcoming committee comprised of a stranger with a surgical mask who dangles us upside down beneath a five million watt lamp before walloping us on the butt. Paradise.
Before long we're drenched in an exploding cacophony of sounds and images, places, situations, and people. And the initiation rituals of childhood begin.
We gradually get the hang of it what's an adult, what's a kid, what's a boy, what's a girl, what's a family. Soon we're off to elementary school and the initiation continues. We learn about teachers and students, and find that the day is no longer an unbroken string of uncertain possibilities, but now has a rigid structure demarcated by golden moments of ecstasy lunch and recess.
And just when you think you've got it licked, there you are in junior high school, and it's like starting all over, but with a giant boot on top of you in the form of social pressures, "in crowds," and "out crowds."
It never ends. Once you're initiated into one sector of life, there's always another with entrance rules, rituals, status emblems, and lingo.
Each game takes place in the context of the world. Does your player care about this world? Just because the game takes place in post-apocalyptic Toledo doesn't mean that players want to spend the next 20 or 40 hours of their lives frenetically twitching their thumbs to become the lord and master of a nuked outpost in doomed Ohio.
The player needs to be made to care about the game's world. The way to do this is with World Induction Techniques.
Let's take a look at a few.